Watched: July 11 2018
Director: Edmond T. Gréville
Starring: Gillian Hills, David Farrar, Noëlle Adam, Christopher Lee, Adam Faith, Oliver Reed
Runtime: 1h 29min
Jennifer (Hills) is a poor little rich girl with daddy issues and a need to distinguish herself and find her identity. She spends her time with sort-of boyfriend Dave (Faith), a musician with a magical guitar that can play all instruments, and his beatnik friends in a bar in Soho.
When her rich architect dad Paul (Farrar) brings home his new French wife Nichole (Adam), Jennifer is less than impressed. She rejects all of Nichole’s attempts at forming a relationship, even though her new stepmom might just be the only one who really tries to understand the girl.
Paul is more interested in his vision of a future city he wants to build than he is in his daughter, which drives Jennifer to increasingly risky behaviour to get his attention. When a local stripper recognizes Nichole, Jennifer makes it her mission to dig up dirt from her stepmother’s past, which puts her on the radar of dangerous strip club owner Kenny (Lee).
We really enjoyed Beat Girl despite our sympathy for Jennifer being a bit limited. Maybe we’re too old to empathise completely with a spoiled girl playing at being special and shocking, although we can understand her motivation and we like that she shows some spunk and self-preservation, especially in her dealings with Kenny.
Still, she’s a bit of a pretentious bitch. However, we loved the opening scene, the music (by John Barry), the now dated slang used by the teenagers, and the very salacious strip tease.
It’s a well-scored and interesting perspective on the disenfranchised post-war generation and well worth watching.
What we learned: Play with fire and you’ll get burnt. Also, we need Dave’s magical guitar!
Next time: Black Sunday (1960)